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Daniel Duma Group 46 The evolution of linguistics since the 19th century Modern Linguistics, in its present formulation

as the scientific study of language, covering the structure (morphology and syntax), sounds (phonology), and meaning (semantics), as well as the history of the relations of languages to each other and the cultural place of language in human behaviour can be seen to draw from the scientific currents starting in the late 18th century. Until then, it appears that language was studied mainly as a field of philosophy. Wilhelm von Humboldt was one of the philosophers then interested in language, who considered that language is an activity arising spontaneously from the human spirit; thus, he felt, languages are different just as the characteristics of individuals are different. In his The Sanscrit Language (1786), the English scholar Sir William Jones proposed that Sanskrit and Persian had resemblances to classical Greek, Latin, Gothic, and Celtic languages, for the first time showing there were genetic relations between languages. From this idea sprung the field of comparative linguistics and historical linguistics. Through the 19th century, European linguistics centred on the comparative history of the IndoEuropean languages, with a concern for finding their common roots and tracing their development. Through the comparison of language structures, such 19th-century European linguists as Jakob Grimm, Rasmus Rask, Karl Brugmann, and Antoine Meillet, as well as the American William Dwight Whitney, did much to establish the existence of the Indo-European family of languages. What is perhaps the next fundamental breakthrough in linguistics is the emergence of Structural Linguistics in the early 20th century. It originated from the work of Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure. De Saussures Course in General Linguistics, published posthumously in 1916, stressed examining language as a static system of interconnected units. It dealt with languages at particular points in time (synchronic) rather than throughout their historical development (diachronic), so Saussure is known as the father of modern linguistics for bringing about the shift from diachronic to synchronic analysis. Saussure believed in language as a systematic structure serving as a link between thought and sound; he thought of language sounds as a series of linguistic signs that are purely arbitrary, as can be seen in the linguistic signs or words for horse: German Pferd, Turkish at, French cheval, and Russian loshad. He further contrasted what he named langue (the state of a language at a certain time) to parole (the speech of an individual). Structural linguistics involves collecting a corpus of utterances and then applying discovery procedures to them in an attempt to classify all of the elements of the corpus at their different linguistic levels: the phonemes, morphemes, lexical categories, noun phrases, verb phrases, and sentence types. One set of discovery procedures are Saussure's methods of syntagmatic and paradigmatic analysis that respectively define units syntactically and lexically, according to their contrast with the other units in the system. Following Saussures work, perhaps the next most important figure in structuralism is Roman Jakobson, who as a student was a leading figure of the Moscow Linguistic Circle. As opposed to the neogrammarian approach of the time, which insisted that the only scientific study of language was to study the history and development of words across time, Jakobson developed an approach focused on the way in which language's structure served its basic function - to communicate information between speakers.

After Jakobson moved to Prague to continue his doctoral studies in 1920 he became, along with Nikolai Trubetzkoi, one of the founders of the "Prague school" of linguistic theory. There his numerous works on phonetics helped continue to develop his concerns with the structure and function of language. Jakobson's universalizing structural-functional theory of phonology, based on a markedness hierarchy of distinctive features, was the first successful solution of a plane of linguistic analysis according to the hypotheses of Saussure. Jakobson left Prague at the start of WWII for Scandinavia. As the war advanced west, he fled to New York City to become part of the wider community of intellectual emigrs who fled there, where he met and collaborated with Claude Lvi-Strauss, who would also become a key exponent of structuralism. He also made the acquaintance of many American linguists and anthropologists, such as Franz Boas, Benjamin Whorf, and Leonard Bloomfield. In 1949 Jakobson moved to Harvard University, where he remained for the rest of his life. In the early 1960s Jakobson shifted his emphasis to a more comprehensive view of language and began writing about communication sciences as whole. Jakobson distinguishes distinguishes six communication functions, each associated with a dimension of the communication process: referential (oriented toward the context, contextual information), poetic (puts 'the focus on the message for its own sake'), emotive (selfexpression, oriented toward the addresser), conative (vocative or imperative addressing of receiver), phatic (checking channel working), metalingual (used to establish mutual agreement on the code). According to Jakobson, one of the six functions is always the dominant function in a text and usually related to the type of text. In poetry, for instance, the dominant function is the poetic function: the focus is on the message itself. The true hallmark of poetry is according to Jakobson "the projection of the principle of equivalence from the axis of selection to the axis of combination". This, it implies that poetry successfully combines and integrates form and function, that poetry turns the poetry of grammar into the grammar of poetry, so to speak. Jakobson's three principal ideas in linguistics were very influential in the field, even to this day: linguistic typology, markedness, and linguistic universals. The three concepts are tightly intertwined: typology is the classification of languages in terms of shared grammatical features (as opposed to shared origin), markedness is a study of how certain forms of grammatical organization are more "natural" than others, and linguistic universals is the study of the general features of languages in the world. He also influenced Nicolas Ruwet's paradigmatic analysis. Among other structuralists were the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan (19011981) and the Marxist writer Louis Althusser (19181990). Lacan stressed the importance of language in defining identity. He reinterpreted Sigmund Freud through Saussure, arguing that the unconscious has a structure not unlike language. Lacan emphasized opposition (e.g., love is the opposite of hate), thereby suggesting that language is never complete but implies what is left out. In a similar vein, Althusser reinterpreted Karl Marx, arguing for a deep symptomatic reading to move beyond the surface reading of his contemporaries. He suggested that one needs to understand the structure of the whole in order to explain modes of production. For Marx, he says, there is no distinct individual because the individual is embedded in the social context. Likewise, one should not see in Marx economic determinism (the Marxian base as determining the superstructure) because both the base and the superstructure are part of the same system. In America, a structural approach was continued through the efforts of Franz Boas and Edward Sapir, who worked primarily with Native American languages, and Leonard Bloomfield, whose methodology required that nonlinguistic criteria must not enter a structural description. Rigorous procedures for determining language structure were developed by Kenneth Pike, Bernard Bloch, Charles Hockett, and others.

The next big change in linguistics comes with Generative-Transformational Grammar, mainly pioneered by the work of Noam Chomsky in the late 1950s. According to GenerativeTransformational Grammar, there is a syntactic base of language, the deep structure, which consists of a series of rules for the rewriting of phrase-structure, that is, a series of (possibly universal) rules that generate the underlying phrase-structure of a sentence, and a series of rules, called transformations, that then act upon the phrase-structure to form more complex sentences. The end result of a transformational-generative grammar is a surface structure that, after the addition of words and pronunciations, is identical to an actual sentence of a language. According to the theory, all languages have the same deep structure, but they differ from each other in surface structure because of the application of different rules for transformations, pronunciation, and word insertion. Another important distinction made in transformational-generative grammar is the difference between language competence (the subconscious control of a linguistic system) and language performance (the speaker's actual use of language). Although the first work done in transformational-generative grammar was syntactic, later studies have applied the theory to the phonological and semantic components of language. Another important theory of grammar is Systemic functional grammar (SFG), concerned primarily with the choices the grammar makes available to speakers and writers, a model developed by Michael Halliday in the 1960s. Part of a broad social semiotic approach to language called systemic linguistics, the term "systemic" refers to the view of language as "a network of systems, or interrelated sets of options for making meaning". The term "functional" indicates that the approach is concerned with the contextualized, practical uses to which language is put, as opposed to formal grammar, which focuses on compositional semantics, syntax and word classes such as nouns and verbs. In SFG, language is analysed in three different ways (strata): semantics, phonology, and lexicogrammar (grammar + lexis). In contrast to theoretical schools of linguistics, workers in applied linguistics in the latter part of the 20th century have produced much work in the areas of foreign-language teaching and of bilingual education in the public schools. In addition, such subfields as pragmatics, sociolinguistics, and psycholinguistics have gained importance.